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Everything posted by GeoCyclist

  1. 1. I use GPX sonar, pretty good and free. I also have mobile pocket reader. 2. Don't know. To use the above you have to be able to sync with your PC 3.GPX sonar has logs 4. had Palm, went to PPC Ipaq 2215 to get windows capabilities
  2. For your first question I don't know. Like I said the GPS compass gets more accurate the faster you go. You can look up the accuracy on line probably. In my experience both are accuracte enough for geocaching. If you were using it for land surveying that might be different. Also remember your GPS will only be accurate to 7-50 feet depending on how many satelite you have locked on to. Therefore, when I get within 20 feet I put the GPSr away and start looking. Don't expect the GPSr to point you to the "exact" location every time.
  3. Calibrate the compass first (and every time you change batteries) First you need to understand how the "GPS" compass and electronic compass works. For what you call "GPS" mode, the needle will only point when you are moving. GPS knows where you are, it doesn't know where you are going or what direction you are facing. The GPS mode compass works like this. The GPSr unit knows where you are. You start moving. A few seconds later the GPSr takes another position reading, then another, and another. It sees where you have been then figures out what direction you are moving in. The faster you move (driving vs. walking) the more accurate this is because there is a greater distance between points taken. If you don't undertand this the bottom line is the "GPS mode" compass won't work if you're standing still, you have to be moving. Next, Go to the main menu page, setup, system and see where you can set when the electronic compas turns it, when you go below a certain speed for so many seconds. To use the electonic compass on the Vista you have to have it turned on. Then when you fall below the minimum speed it turns on after X number of seconds. (So you have to wait for it). I have mine set for the minimum time (5 seconds) and 10 mph. The speed setting is really to distingish between when you are driving and when your car is stopped. At walking speeds you will usually be below 10 mph. The time setting to to conserve your batteries by not having the electonic compass turn if too quickly if you don't want that. The electronic compass works like a normal compass, it has a sensor that knows what diretion is north. You do have the option to set the compass for magnetic north or true north
  4. Here's an update: I got a Surefire G2, this is an Xenon bulb. It has 65 lumens like many of the more expensive Surefires but only cost $34 since it is plastic rather than anodized AL. Sure plastic will break if dropped hard enough but this light feels pretty durable. I compare it to my 3D maglite. The light output is way better than the maglite. The other thing I like about the Surefires (which I wasn't sure I would at first) is the lens is fixed unlike the maglites. This is not a problem though. The beam pattern is perfect, nice bright center and plenty of coverage beyond. While the focus is adjustable on the maglite, no matter how you set it you have dark spots. The xenon bulb is not only way brighter but also much whiter light, it makes the maglite look yellow. Next I got a Inova X5 as it is a low powered LED light that claims battery life of 20 hours. I got this to replace the 2AA mini-mag. Again it way outperforms the 2AA mini-mag and probably comes close to output of a 2D lite (though it doesn't through very far.) I will use thi for caching and also for up close work, working on the car etc. With 20 hours run time the extra cost of 123a litium batteries is not a problem. I got white LED's and the light is absolutely beautiful. A little on the blue side but still very white, even whiter than an G2 xenon bulb. Okay, someone give some advice here. After seeing the brillance of pure white light (or very close to pure) from the LED and the amazing power of 65 lumens from the G2 I am thinking about getting a 5 watt LED light that will put out 60+ lumens. Anyone have a high power LED light you like?
  5. There is one on the page for Hide and Seek a cache to put in your cache.
  6. Compucache is right. I wear long pants all year round, even when it's 90­° outside. If you are in terrain where you need long pants for ticks then you need the long pants anyway if you want to protect your legs from briars. Plus wearing pants I spray them with Deep Woods Off (high DEET content) so I don't have as much bug spray on my skin. Of course check youself for ticks as soon as you get home.
  7. Yellow Jeep Travel Bugs really get people out there. Another cache I did I let the winner pick the cache name.
  8. I am thinking of getting a 60cs. Is anyone here still having problems with the belt clip coming off? Heard this was a problem a while back, has Garmin done anything to fix this? I assume there is a round knob for the belt clip to attach to. Can anyone tell me where there are pictures of the back side of a 60c/cs? I was wondering how this worked? Is the knob still there when you don't use the belt clip?
  9. Get both! The built in electronic compass is great, and it never hurts to have a backup manual compass with you (you can get one for $5-10). When you use your GPS the navigation needle only works when you are moving, unless you have a built in compass. Some caches are easy where the terrain is open and you walk right up to them. Others you will wonder around for a while. When you wonder around you don't move a lot and you don't move very fast so the built in compass helps a lot here. Plus you don't have to tie up another hand switching back and forth between your compass and GPSr. Still there are plenty of folks out there without the built in compass that get by fine. Also if are using your GPSr with a map the built in compass is good since most of the time I am stopped while looking at my map.
  10. Another good use for the cell phone is for calling the wife to check the web site to read the log entries when I can't find a cache. Other nice items that aren't essential are various sizes of zip lock bags for cache maintenance.
  11. If only Micky Dee's realized what they were missing in free advertisement, they would create McCache Meals. Adult size meals in an amo container with respectable swag. "Would you like to super size to the full width amo container?"
  12. Do you have to do anything special when you turn your GPSr on overseas? I know it will take awhile to figure out where it is (like the first time you turned it on out of the box). Other than that does it work the same as in the US?
  13. Go to the cache you found and check that your log entry is there. Once I selected "found it" when posting a log, then hit the scroll wheel on the mouse while "found it" was still highlighted. This caused it to change to something else.
  14. Here are some tips for finding your first cache. First practice in your back yard. Mark a spot, take a waypoint there. Walk away and find your waypoint. Read through cache pages: Look for caches found in the last few days, if the cache hadn't been found in a month or longer there is a chance it is missing. Look for difficulty 2 or less. Read the logs, look for "easy fine" avoid anything that says "looked for 30 minutes" Go after a "traditional full or half size amo box" These are easier to fine than "mircros" which are very small containers. Pick a cache that is in an area (park, trail) you are already familar with. If you need more help look through the cache pages in your local area to see who the big cachers are (who's name shows up a lot) then email them and ask for help. Most people would be willing to go with you on a cache. Search the web for local cahce organizations in your area. Welcome to the sport.
  15. I have a eTrex Vista, one level above legend. I am glad I spent the extra cash (not much I believe) to get the vista since it has an electronic compass (when you stop moving the electronic takes over to keep your navigation needle pointing in the right direction, without it your needle doesn't work when you stand still). Also the Vista has 24MB of memory vs. 8MB. I wish I had more memory. 8MB will only hold steet and topo maps for 1 city (less if it's a big city). I you plan to use your GPSr for driving then the city maps are awesome. (Screen on GPSr is still small though). The topo maps are nice for caching if you really get deep into the woods. For caches 100 ft. off nature trails you probably won't use them. I don't know much about the sport trak. I would consider which has more memory and if it has an electonic compass. If you read enough on this site you will find both Magellan and Garmin are great brands and you won't go wrong with either. Also if you can try out both and see how the feel in your hand and how easy it to use the buttons. Geocaching you will have to use buttons a lot. Welcome to the sport.
  16. Excellent point, any one got camo techniques for tree bark and/or leaves on the ground? I guess for leaves on the ground I would try the Criminal technique and paint my leave brown instead of green.
  17. I read this on a web site: 5 things you need to know about buying boots 1. Only consdier well made brand names 2. Buy the pair that fits best 3. Buy the pair that fits best 4. Buy the pair that fits best 5. Buy the pair that fits best (even if you don't like the color) One other thing that hasn't been mentioned is there is a big difference between real hiking boots and "nauture trail boots/shoes" Take your pair of tennis shoes at home and fold them in half. Does your foot fold in half like this? No! Real hiking boots will have a stiff sole (often steel shank) that won't flex very much. (the same way your foot doesn't flex a whole lot) This provides better support for 10+ mile hikes. "Nature trail" hiking boots are are designed more like tennis shoes to be light weight and comfortable on flat terrain. For easy terrain these are great but don't provide the support needed on a technical hiking trail with rock and uneven surfaces, roots, etc. I have both and save my real boots for long hikes or when I know the terrain is rough. For in town caches or easy/short finds I wear the lite weight hikers. Don't buy boots off the internet unless you have tried a pair on first. When I buy boots I go to REI or other stores, tell the guy what kind of foot I have and what I am looking for in a boot then try on everything they have. If you try on 10 pairs you should be able to tell a big difference between something that fits and something that doesn't. Like someone else said, "Cotton Kills". The reason is once cotton gets sweaty it retains moisture. You feet stay hot and damp which makes blistering more easy to occur. Once cotton socks get wet they compress and start slipping on your feet. When you feet slip inside your boots is when you get blisters. Wool (for cold weather), smart wool, or synthetic fibers are best. I always carry a spare pair of socks and plan to have a change of dry socks for every 5+ miles. After 5 miles you will be amazed how much better your feet feel with new socks.
  18. What about something for reaching 1000 finds, etc. Coin, patch, etc. What about custom Geo coins. The official Geo caching logo on one side, send your artwork to have the other side cutom made.
  19. You need to read and understand declination. I'm not good enough to explain it here. Magnetic North is what a simple compass gives you. True North is what up on most maps is. Unless you are on a map course most geocaches should matter. A lot of times if a bearing is given they will state magnetic or true.
  20. I would like to know too. I tried (on tupperware) using spray cans free hand. Worked okay but not as nice as others I have seen. From this experience here is what I learned: Use the new Krylon paint made for plastic when painting on tupperware. It sticks well. I think the flat nozzles give more control over the cone nozzle.
  21. Part of the fun is the race, part is knowing you were there first and get to see the cache before anyone else, getting to see what the cache owner originally left before people start trading.
  22. Welcome to the sport. One way to find who the active cachers in your area is to search by your zip code for caches then look at the logs, see who's names pop up a lot. Click on their name to pull up their stats. See how many finds and hides they have. If you email most people they would be happy to help in any way, probably even go with you. When I went after my first cache I wanted something I felt comfortable with too. I search by zip code and looked at the ones closest to home. I looked at the map quest map for each. By looking at the map I found one in a park next to my office. I go to this park all the time and even ride mountain bike there in the woods so I know the surroundings very well, so I picked this one for my first find. Also like someone else said go for a 1/1 or easy hide. The easy ones are usually very close to the trail so you should not be off in the middle of no where. An urban micro in a parking lot during daytime is also pretty safe. When you pick your first one also print out 3-4 more because as soon as you get #1 you wil want to go after more.
  23. Sounds like you're doing a good job with your first cache. I had my wife follow my clues after I finished to make sure there weren't errors and that everything made sense.
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